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Who needs a dog? I have a lawn mower for herding sheep!

Who needs a dog? I have a lawn mower for herding sheep!
Front Porch: Sometimes I'm smarter than the sheep, sometimes they outsmart me.

May 2016 was one of those unique months that contained a Friday the 13th. If you are superstitious, Friday the 13th is bad luck. I’m not superstitious. I’ve never believed in any Friday the 13th sort of evil spell. That changed on May 13, 2016.

I didn’t have a wreck, no one in my family broke a bone and I didn’t have a heart attack. But the day was filled with frustration from the moment I got up. By evening I was exhausted. Some annoyances came through cellphone calls. By 6 p.m. I swore I wouldn’t answer the phone the rest of the day. I did. It was someone else giving me grief.

Peace and quiet

SMARTER THAN A SHEEP? Some days I think I’m smarter than my ewes. On Friday the 13th, I wasn’t so sure.

After that call, I headed for my lawn mower. I mow 3 acres, which means about two-and-a-half hours of quiet bliss. It’s my time to relax and just chill out. It usually, is, at least — but not that evening.

Within five minutes, I backed over a rock at the edge of a flower bed. Soon the mower deck was chattering more than normal. Half of me thought it was not that unusual. The other half figured I bent a blade on the rock.

Maybe I was just so tired I was imagining things. The last time I thought that, when I was driving a minibus for a volunteer activity, it turned out it wasn’t my imagination. The rear end was going out on the bus.

No more peace!

About 7:30 p.m. my daughter pulled in, home from her job at the bakery. She motioned toward me. She never even looks at me on a normal day. She’s 21 — you know the age group. Then she pointed at the barn.

Finally, I looked. My ewes were out in the yard, munching grass. They had a whole pasture on the other side, but they found the gate I forgot to chain the night before.

Actually, they weren’t too happy with me, anyway. They were part of the Friday the 13th nightmare. I had locked them in a small pen the night before to sort one out that I’d sold to a neighbor. The next morning, when I opened the pasture gate on the other side of the barn, they didn’t come out. I just figured they were lazy.

When I got home Friday evening and went to the barn, they were all staring at me. They were still in the small pen — I forgot to open it the night before after sorting. I got looks like ‘Let us out of here, you idiot.’ I let them out into the lot so they could go to the pasture.

So I supposed I deserved this — that they were in the yard. I headed my lawn mower straight at them. Believe it or not, they ran back through the gate into their lot, all by themselves. Wow! I don’t need a sheepdog. I have a lawn mower to herd sheep!

I went back to mowing, deck still chattering. Finally, I stopped and checked it. Nothing seemed amiss. Five minutes later, for no good reason, the chattering stopped. Everything was normal again. It had been a frustration, but not a disaster.

Have you ever heard that Christmas song spoof “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer?” One line says, referring to Santa Claus and his reindeer, “As for me and Grandpa, we believe!”

Well, after May the 13th, as for bad luck on Friday the 13th — I believe!


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